lies, damned lies. by Fred Leblanc

Court File No. CV16550104

ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

AFFIDAVIT OF FRED LEBLANC

I, Fred LeBlanc, of the City of Kingston, Ontario MAKE OATH AND SAY:

I am currently the 13th District Vice-President for the International Association of FireFighters. Between June 2002 and June 2012, I was the President of the Ontario Professional Fire

Fighters’ Association (OPFFA). I have personal knowledge of the matters contained in this affidavit…..

First, historically, interest arbitration advocates may have received gifts from time to time, but that is all that they were: gifts. In my experience, there was no expectation in advance that a gift would be received. There was also no consistency with respect to the nature of the gift – they ranged from bottles of wine, to gift cards, to, on some occasions, cash. Cash gifts, in my experience, were never more than $5,000 and usually much lower than that.

The OPFFA recently addressed the inconsistency in gifts to advocates working on interest arbitrations. In June 2018, the OPFFA changed the interest arbitration program to provide  advocates a fixed amount of compensation of $10,000 for working as advocates.

Second, Atkinson and Grieve were already receiving a healthy honorarium – many multiples higher than other OPFFA committee members – on top of their regular fire fighter salary.

By comparison, interest arbitration advocates did not receive an established honorarium.

Third, the OPFFA had a protocol in place for the RCCF and the ODC that had been approved by the membership. The expectation was that donations from claimants would be remitted to the OPFFA. There is no such protocol for interest arbitrations.

I did not expect, and I do not believe anyone else who served with me on the Board expected (except perhaps Brian George), that Atkinson and Grieve were soliciting and accept large cash payments for themselves in respect of work for which they were already being compensated

Accepting a bottle of wine or a gift card to The Keg as a token of appreciation is one thing if that was happening and I had known about it, I would not have been concerned. But had I known that Atkinson and Grieve were soliciting, receiving and keeping for themselves payments in excess of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more, I would have been very concerned and would have taken steps to try and put an end to it.

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